Seminar Details

Enhanced Communication Workshop Series for International Faculty Members

Introductory and Advanced Courses

The Goals
The focus of these workshops is on spoken American English, first producing it accurately and ultimately hearing it with increased comprehension. Ad hoc attention will be paid to questions on American culture and values, colloquial language, and how to work with American students.

The Commitment
As adult learners, participants have two jobs. First, they will pay attention to their language use during the week, log questions as they occur, and then ask them in class. Second, they will make a commitment to doing their homework as thoroughly as possible.

The Materials
Textbook (with audio) on American English pronunciation, Advanced Dictionary of American English (with CD-ROM), Supplementary handouts and quizzes

The Method
Participants do short readings in the course to understand the basic theory of how American English sounds are produced. Then, they do exercises to see how well they grasp the concepts presented in each unit. Finally, they practice the new sounds being presented. Some sounds will be difficult to hear and/or produce; others will be easy. This is partly due to the learner’s mother tongue and the match (or mismatch) with target English sounds. This is also due to the unique collection of sounds which English employs to express itself.

More critical than the readings and written exercises, the oral exercises MUST be practiced. Ultimately, this is a hands-on course. If learners have spent decades in mis-hearing and mis-pronouncing certain features of English, there will be a lot of history to overcome. It will take some undoing. It is not easy, but it is do-able. Participants who put their heart and soul (and mouth and ears) into the work are guaranteed to be pleased by the results.

The Schedule

  • The Introductory Course will alternate meeting in small groups and personal tutorial sessions which will be scheduled individually. Additionally, participants will have a special 90-minute consultation scheduled at their convenience to use as they wish, either to practice an upcoming conference presentation or to get feedback from a classroom session. Follow-up time will be scheduled to go over notes on speech, presentation style, and cross-cultural communication issues. Participants should be thinking ahead about how to most fully utilize this opportunity. The course runs for 13 weeks.

  • The Advanced Course is available for alumni of the ECWS Introductory Course. The Advanced Course will hold three meetings in small groups and concentrate the remainder of the time in personal tutorial sessions which will be scheduled individually. The course runs for 13 weeks.

Request an Information Packet

If your university does not offer such a course, you may request more details including a seminar syllabus and pricing information by sending me an email. Be sure to include your name and address, and a packet will be mailed to you right away.

Alan Headbloom